Monday, 13 September 2010

Rehearsal Blog 3

Here's Lauren's report on Week 2's work in Sheffield:

Post 3: What I Heard About The World Rehearsals Week 2

The start of the second week saw the first weekly visit by Rachael Walton, co-artistic director of Third Angel, and we were also joined by José Cappela, co-artistic director of Mala Voadora with Jorge. This gave the performers the opportunity to hear the opinions and ideas of people new to any developments in the rehearsal space.

Through analysing their progress, it was decided by everyone that greater clarity was needed on what the show is about, and how the stories that have been collected will be deployed. Jorge, Capela and Rachael focused on investigating possible connections between stories, whilst Alex and Chris wrote some potential text for the show, which also developed the way the stories will be blended into one coherent whole.

This naturally led onto discussion as to the role the table/stage will play. Once props were introduced, do they stay there or are they removed? Do performers stay on the stage throughout, or get off it when they are not playing an active part in the show? Should the stage be sloped or flat? Do we even need a stage? This was a source of much debate through the week, but on Wednesday there was a breakthrough that Alex, Jorge and Chris were all excited about (something that I obviously can’t tell you without spoiling the show, sorry!)

It felt important that from now on the performers should set out how they will use their devising time at the start of the day (e.g. improvise around a text for an hour, think about set design for a morning), rather than working where their thoughts took them. This ensured there was tangible progress at the end of each day, which in turn maintains motivation and energy levels through the process, and staves off panic of course!

We all have our own idea of what the world is (like the old adage that if you ask people to imagine a tree, everyone pictures a different tree), so the performers needed to clarify each others’ perception of the world, and that the world the show describes is the performers’ collective version of it. The ‘real’ world and the performers’ world have a relationship with eachother, but they are not the same thing. The performers’ description of the world they have heard about allows the audience to imagine and question the version of the world they hold in their heads.

Overall, a lot of progress was made in the second week, and whilst what a lot of what was developed in the first week has now been scrapped, I think everyone is more satisfied with what has replaced it.

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